Home Local News Southern Festival of Books returns October 14-16             

Southern Festival of Books returns October 14-16             

by Cass Teague

The Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word is among the oldest literary festivals in the country, annually welcoming approximately 200 authors and 25,000 visitors each October. The Festival is free, and includes performance stages, food trucks, and more than 60 publishers and booksellers. After two years of virtual programming, they eagerly look forward to seeing you on The Plaza.

The 34th Annual Southern Festival of Books, a program of Humanities Tennessee, runs Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16, 2022 at the downtown branch of the Nashville Public Library & War Memorial Plaza. See the website for details: https://sofestofbooks.org/

Among the literally hundreds of books and programs during the weekend are two fascinating books by and about two very interesting African American men, Andrew Young and Justin Jones. They are “The Many Lives of Andrew Young” and “The People’s Plaza: Sixty-Two Days of Nonviolent Resistance.”

Learn about the Andrew Young book at “In Conversation: Ernie Suggs, Andrew Young” at 3:00 pm, Sunday, October 16 in NPL Conference Room 1B. The program will be followed by a book signing in the Signing Colonnade at 4:00 pm. “The Many Lives of Andrew Young” tells the inspiring, dramatic story of civil rights hero, congressman, ambassador, mayor, and American icon Andrew Young.

Featuring hundreds of full-color photographs that capture the extraordinary life and times of Andrew Young and a captivating narrative by acclaimed “Atlanta Journal-Constitution” race reporter Ernie Suggs, filled with personal accounts from Andrew Young himself, the book is both a tribute to and an essential chronicle of the life of a man whose activism and service changed the face of America and whose work continues to reverberate around the world today.

Start your Festival with Justin Jones, as he discusses “The People’s Plaza: Sixty-Two Days of Nonviolent Resistance” In Conversation: Justin Jones, Chris Joyner, and Thomas E. Ricks is at 12 Noon on Friday, October 14 in the NPL Third Floor Program Room. Justin Jones is an activist, graduate student, and community organizer in Nashville.

“The People’s Plaza” is a rumination on the abuse of power, and a vision of a more just, equitable, anti-racist Nashville — a vision that kept Jones and those with him posted on the plaza through intense heat, unprovoked arrests, vandalism, theft, and violent suppression. It is a first-person account of hope, a statement of intent, and a blueprint for nonviolent resistance in the American South and elsewhere.

From June 12, 2020, until the passage of the state law making the occupation a felony two months later, peaceful protesters set up camp at Nashville’s Legislative Plaza and renamed it for Ida B. Wells. Central to the occupation was Justin Jones, a student of Fisk University and Vanderbilt Divinity School. The result was two months of solidarity in the face of rampant abuse, community in the face of state-sponsored terror, and standoff after standoff at the doorsteps of the people’s house with those who claimed to represent them. In this, his first book, Jones describes those two revolutionary months of nonviolent resistance against a police state that sought to dehumanize its citizens.

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